Skip to comments.Dems Play Politics With Bogus 77-cent Differential in Male-Female Pay
Posted on 04/15/2014 4:22:27 AM PDT by Kaslin
An economist serving on a second-term president's Council of Economic Advisers might expect to weigh in on fundamental issues, restructuring the tax system or making entitlement programs sustainable over the long term. Barack Obama once talked of addressing such issues, and Republican leaders such as House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp are doing so.
But that's not what University of Michigan economist and CEA member Betsey Stevenson finds herself doing. Instead, she is defending the use of misleading statistics in support of legislation addressing a minor problem.
The legislation is Obama's latest pay equity measure, which failed to pass in the Senate last week. The misleading statistic is 77 cents, cited repeatedly by Obama as the amount women earn for every dollar earned by men.
When challenged on this by MSNBC's Irin Cannon, Stevenson admitted that the 77 cents figure is misleading. "If I said that 77 cents was equal pay for equal work, then I completely misspoke," she admitted.
"There are a lot of things that go into that 77 cents figure," she went on. "There are a lot of things that contribute, and no one's trying to say that it's all about discrimination, but I don't think there's a better figure."
Of course some people are trying to say that "it's all about discrimination"--starting with Stevenson's boss, President Obama, and including the political ad-makers preparing to cut 30-second spots accusing Republicans of a "war on women."
So Stevenson is fibbing about that. And when she says, "there are a lot of things that contribute" to male-female earnings disparities, she is indicating that she understands the weakness of using the 77 cents number.
This isn't controversial stuff. As my American Enterprise Institute colleague Christina Hoff Sommers writes in the Daily Beast, the 77 cents "does not account for differences in occupations, positions, education, job tenure or hours worked per week."
Those factors are acknowledged in a 2012 Bureau of Labor Statistics report cited by AEI scholars Mark Perry and Andrew Biggs in the Wall Street Journal. It shows that (a) men tend to work longer hours than women, (b) men tend to take riskier jobs with premium pay and (c) female college graduates tend to specialize in lower-paid fields than male college graduates.
As a result, the BLS concludes, women who worked 40-hour weeks earned 88 percent of what similar men did. Single women who never married earned 96 percent of men's earnings.
Stevenson concedes that not all the differential comes from discrimination or sexism. "Some of women's choices come because they are disproportionately balancing the needs of work and family," she told MSNBC.
By "disproportionately," she presumably means that more women than men choose to stay home to care for children. "Which of these choices should we consider legitimate choices," she asks, "and which of them should we consider things that we have a societal obligation to try to mitigate?"
This raises the specter of government bureaucrats intervening in marital decision-making, pushing more husbands to stay home with the kids. Even the Obama administration stops short of that.
The Democrats' problem is that sex discrimination by employers was outlawed by the Equal Pay Act signed by John Kennedy in 1963 -- 51 years ago. To make "the war on women" an issue and rally single women to the polls, the Obama Democrats have had to concoct new legislation putting new burdens on small employers and ginning up business, as the 2009 Lilly Ledbetter Act's extended statute of limitations did, for their trial lawyer contributors.
Such legislation attacks a problem very largely solved. The male-female pay differential for those working at similar levels has been reduced nearly, but not quite, to the vanishing point. Remaining differences result almost entirely from personal choices by women and men.
Those choices shifted sharply 40 years ago but haven't changed much lately. The percentage of mothers seeing full-time work as an ideal, Pew Research Center reports, was 30 percent in 1997 and 32 percent in 2012.
By any realistic standard the equal pay problem is minor, certainly in comparison to the growth-stifling effects of the current tax code and the unsustainable trajectory of current entitlement programs.
But this president, unlike his two predecessors, has chosen not to address such major problems in his second term. And so Betsey Stevenson has to defend the indefensible 77 cents statistic.
The majority prefer work that is loose and not teamwork. I see it over and over and it's been pretty much that way since our beginnings....except perhaps, during WWII.
No conscience at all. Lie, cheat, steal........by any means necessary. That’s why Benghazi isn’t important to the Dems and Big Media (but I am being redundant). It was sooooo much more important for Obama to lie about Al Qaeda being on the run in his stump speech than it was to tell the American people the truth. It was sooooo much more important for Obama to have control for four more years than it was to honor the 4 murdered Americans with the truth. It was sooooo much more important to continue the destruction of America than it was to bother trying to hold accountable those who carried out the terrorism and those who still cover it up. How far this once great country has fallen. I weep for what was and what will be.
Forget the Regime’s bogus statistics and think about it logically. If a business owner could save a whopping 23% on labor by hiring only women, he (or, often, she) would do so. Every time.
True indeed. Good grief, isn’t health insurance, even under Obamacare, more expensive for women? Or will men be paying for maternity/childbirth coverage?
It works good for Democrats though.
Republicans get asked about it in interviews and they are scared to say that its not discrimination, so usually they respond ‘Yes it is a problem but...’
According to Terri Land in Michigan, Gary Peters pays 68 cents to women per dollar paid to men.
THAT'S EXACTLY WHY WOMEN'S PAY, ON AVERAGE, IS LESS THAN MEN'S PAY. More men work full time and at the harder, less flexible jobs. Jay and Clair's real life completely contradicts the argument from the WH about the wage gap.
See post 9.
Bottom line: Obama has been POTUS for 6 years. And Dems owned everything for 2 full years. Nothing passed or even proposed to right this (supposed) wrong.
“Dems Play Politics With Bogus 77-cent Differential in Male-Female Pay”
There has to be a better way to state that headline, although no one at the source is complaining, either.
Seems like it should be a 23-cent differential, if women are (falsely) alleged to earn 77 cents for every dollar that a man does.
I woke up this morning to more talk of pay inequality... *sigh* seriously... could they be more obvious that they are laying the groundwork for a Hillary run?
Same strategy as Obama. You MUST elect Hillary! Anything else makes you a SEXIST! Any critisim of her.. is because you are SEXIST! Come on youth... make history... vote for the First woman president!
This stupid bogus issue is the cover story on the latest issue of my local business times publication.
Yet another reason I openly refer to it as the Pittsburgh Communist Business Times. Stuff like that, and endless interviews with CEOs and alleged “entrepreneurs” all whining that the government is not doing enough for them.
Their kids go to Sidwell.
You can't compare these folks to normal working hubby and wife. They are political "boot lickers".
Many Republicans take positions that they don't act comfortable explaining, and as they dodge questions about them it allows Dems to pounce and assign them the GOP (evil) motives, as they do.
On the other side Dems always seem prepared with multiple talking points and multiple studies for their positions to show that they are right.
Supposedly, the New England Patriots require their players/staff/etc. to take public relations/public speaking courses so they DON’T commit verbal f***ups.
I suggested the same thing for ALL GOP candidates (local level all the way to POTUS) a few years ago. I had a knuckledragger try to argue with me that that wasn’t necessary. Ok. Did I mention that said knuckledragger’s state switched from GOP to RAT the last few years? A big reason why was that the GOPs running from that state were mostly idiots.
Being able to handle the media is either priority 1 or 1A for any politician. If that’s not understood, just go wait for “Old Country Buffet” to open...